(Official Washington Examiner editorial, June 8) As President Joe Biden pursues initiatives he announced last week to “help narrow the racial wealth gap,” he should heed a late-May reminder from the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that preferential treatment based on race is presumptively invalid.

This is as it should be. It is right and just that the courts, in the name of justice, should strike down racial preferences, a pernicious, do-gooding racism sweeping schools, corporations, and the media. It treats all American experience through the lens of race. It would be even worse if the racialism embedded in so-called “critical race theory” were backed by government force.

Biden is right to want all segments of society to prosper. If crafted without racial criteria, his initiatives to help jump-start poor and disadvantaged businesses and improve home values in struggling neighborhoods would be welcome. But the White House announcement focuses constantly on “racial disparities,” and the clear implication is that its proposed solutions will involve racial preferences.

That’s where the 6th Circuit ruling comes in. In the 2-1 May 27 decision in Vitolo v. Guzman, the court held that the government may not award coronavirus relief money on the basis of race and sex.

Judge Thapar

The Small Business Administration had been doling out $29 billion in COVID response grants to restaurant owners under rules that allowed the money to go only to restaurants owned at least 51% by women or nonwhite proprietors. Writing for the court, Judge Amul Thapar explained that Supreme Court precedent (not to mention simple fairness) allows such preferences only to serve a “compelling” state interest, a term of art with three strict criteria. A mere vague desire to remedy past discrimination is insufficient to permit the government itself to favor or disfavor otherwise eligible citizens just because they are white…. [The full editorial is at this link.]


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